Brussels Series: Manneken Pis, Snails and Amaretto


Sometimes one can know the character of a city just by observing the people going about doing their business. I can relate to a city like Brussels. This city is well maintain, clean, graffiti free and have very little vagrants. The subway felt bright and safe.

I stumbled on the Parc du Bruxelles while trying to look for the Unknown Soldier Panorama. I must have made a wrong turn somewhere and came upon this place. I enjoyed this park. In a cold early spring weather, there are quite a lot of people running during their lunch break. It reminds me a lot of Vancouver where when the weather is good, people do don their running gears and go for a run.

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In every European city, there is a cathedral at the center of the city. Brussel’s cathedral is called the St Michael and Gudula Cathedral. I had seen enough of churches already and gave this a miss.

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Brussels is a compact city. I came across the Manneken Pis again. Since there are better light this time, I took out my long lens and managed to get a closer shot of the famous sculpture. Sometimes they do dress up the Manneken Pis in costumes but not this time.

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For some reason, all tourist must make it a point to seek out this bronze sculpture. Many tourists are disappointed to find how small the Manneken Pis is.

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I was told that for a truly adventurous food, I should go to the Stock Exchange Building, Buers. This is a major meeting place just like the Trafalgar Square in London, although much more smaller. I spent some time looking for the Jet et Fils stall and found what I was looking for … caracoles!

It’s quite a run down stall from where I bought this. The lady asked if I wanted it to go and when I said yes, she gave me the snails in an old recycled jam jar! Yucks! I was just thinking if they have cleaned it enough.

It came with a lot of soup … hot and peppery. The soup was warm and pretty good in a cold spring day. But it does look like some brackish water though. Doesn’t it look like these snails have been scooped up from the bottom of a river?

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These snails does taste better than the ones I had in Paris. It is much fleshier and had been de-shelled. The meat is springy. I like this. Price? 3.50 Euros.

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On the way back to the hotel, I wanted to stop and get a cup of coffee. I stopped by a department stall called Hema which is a Dutch chain.

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I ordered an Amaretto coffee. I am not sure how to describe this. It sure looked very good, doesn’t it? It had a rich coffee base with a thick layer of foam and topped with some “stuff”. I think they added some syrup called Amaretto, hence the name. This did not come with a biscuit but a chocolate egg.

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5 thoughts on “Brussels Series: Manneken Pis, Snails and Amaretto

  1. Pingback: Chow Times » Pho Viet on Kingsway and Nanaimo, Vancouver
  2. Hi Celia and Windy: I figured that if the Belgians have been eating the snails all these while, well, I don’t think I will fall sick eating this. It actually tastes quite good.

    Hi Psycho Dude: I know what you mean. I agree the Manneken Pis is so absolutely ridiculous. How it got to this well known is just simply amazing.

  3. Ah, moving north from France into Belgium. Getting closer to my country like that. Lol @ manneken pis though, he’s just legendary yet so absolutely ridiculous. The one in Brussels actually isn’t the first manneken pis though, there is one in a place called Geraadsbergen which as placed even earlier on back in the 15th century :P.

  4. I do admire your courage Ben, the nerve to eat them…those snails do look like they were scooped up from the bottom of a river, ja,ja.

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